Mamamia sales director insists ‘editorial must produce all the native content’

Rogers at BEfest

Rogers at BEfest

Mamamia’s national sales director has dismissed the need for “church and state mentalities” between editorial and sales, saying the editorial team has to produce “all of the native content”.

Talking on a panel on native advertising at BEfest today Kylie Rogers said: “It needs to be treated as pure editorial, it must be in stream. It’s really important, and it’s a mistake others have made in the past, where you have a B team that’s producing the native content and you have an A team that’s producing editorial content and you’re readers know that.”

Fellow panellist Tim Duggan, the content director for Sound Alliance which runs lifestyle sites like Junkee and Same Same, echoed Rogers’ comments, however representatives from Fairfax Media and The Guardian were quick to defend the need for a divide.

Managing director of Guardian Australia Ian McLelland told the audience: “It depends on the brand. If you’re a trusted, hard news brand. That’s really dangerous territory to pay a journalist more to write commercial stuff because they are then influenced by commercial.

McClelland at BEfest

McClelland at BEfest

“We use the same multi-media production facility, the same techniques and technologies and we even use the same network of contributors but the core staff on the news desk wouldn’t be writing commercial content.”

Independence is also important to fellow news outlet Fairfax, with the company’s custom solutions commercial manager Felix Krueger highlighting the importance of signposting brand-funded content.

“We’ve got a long tradition of journalism, over 100 years. We have a strict divide between church and state and that’s simply because independence is one of our key selling points and that’s what about seven million Australians come to us for each month,” he said.

“It’s really important for us to drill that message in and always ensure the distinction between editorial content and brand funded content is really clear.”

However, Sound Alliance’s Duggan said it was important for their brands to have editorial staff writing the content.

“Our editorial staff write it. We pay our contributors more to write a native piece than to write a normal piece simply because the revenue model is different and we want to share some of that with them,” he said.

“However BuzzFeed are not like this. They have an editorial department and an advertising department, and I often have arguments with Simon [Crerar], the Australian editor of Buzzfeed about that because I don’t think there should be separation of church and state.

“Our editors are the ones with the innate knowledge of what works and if you want a brand to really hook into that knowledge you have to use the same content creators.”

Miranda Ward


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